I had the privilege of getting to see Adele perform live in Nashville, Tennessee, a couple of weeks ago. Almost a year after I anxiously sat at my desk waiting for 10 a.m. to come, I sat in the last row of the highest balcony, and it was marvelous.
I wouldn’t be the first person to say that I have learned something from Adele’s songs or that I have tried to look for meanings in them regardless whether they were intentional or not, but this was different. Adele herself said she just loves to chat and often between songs, she would chat about the songs. She talked about how she felt when she wrote them and how she feels now. It was a little glimpse into her thought process. Not only did I walk away from her concert so happy that I heard a beautiful singer, but I felt like I learned something.
Rumor Has It
Adele joked that going to her concerts is not a good time because all her songs are miserable. “They might sound upbeat but they aren’t.” She said Rumor Has It is a song about trying again even after you know your relationship isn’t working. She meant romantic relationships, but I related to this in terms of friendships. Sometimes you grow apart and it’s harder to let go than you thought, but when you stop trying to force a relationship to continue, something better has the chance to come around.
A Million Years Ago
Before this song, Adele talked about missing her teenage years (to which I scoffed very loudly) and that she wanted to be a teenager again. She said she missed it because your friends are never more available to you than when you’re a teenager. As a teenager, you have a lot more flexibility than your adult life with mountains of responsibilities and people (spouses and children) to take care of and look after. As much as I don’t miss being a teenager, and I really don’t, I understand what she means. There was a freedom we took for granted when we had part time jobs and lived at home. She also said not to worry if you’re a teenager having a hard time because it will be over soon (THANK GOODNESS).
Don’t You Remember
Everybody has that one thing that they love passionately and unapologetically. For Adele, that thing is Allison Krause. Adele said she added an acoustic set to her show just to channel a little bit of that folksy feeling she loves from Allison’s songs. She took one of my favorite songs (“Don’t You Remember”) and gave it a little bit of a country feel because it was inspired by some of Allison’s work. It’s cool to love things especially if no one understands (country music is rare in the U.K.), as it’s just something for you.
To Make You Feel My Love
Adele said one of her favorite moments in her show was when she sings this cover. She said it was good for a moment to get away from her own feelings and lose herself in someone else’s. This seems pretty relatable since 20,000 of us walked into an arena to hear her sing about her feelings. This song by Bob Dylan is obviously emotional, but our experiences determine our interpretations, so this song can invoke any kind of feelings we want, and I Iove this cover every time.
When I first heard this song it didn’t make my list of Adele favorites. Probably because it sounds so different from most of her other songs. But after hearing Adele talk about it, I came to see it differently than before. Adele said this song was for someone in your life who you wish wasn’t. Reminding us all that sometimes it takes a while for us to realize what kind of affect someone in our life is having on us. Sometimes it takes even longer before we realize that we might be better off without someone. And she did it all with a catchy chorus!
I did not realize this song was one of the songs from her first attempt at an album after 21. She said there were dozens of songs about her son, but not all of them were good. “Sweetest Devotion” was one of the few they kept and ending up putting it on 25. She said she didn’t know she had the capacity to love another human until she had her son, and now this song is on a whole other level of emotion. I don’t have kids but I spent the whole song thinking about the people I love unconditionally and I felt so happy that it was not a short list.
Someone Like You
Before she sang what might be her most famous, successful song, Adele talked for a bit about the day she wrote it. She said Someone Like You was written on her worst day. She was desperately sad, but the song gave her immediate relief and made her feel powerful. She said it is about the feeling of being so alone and feeling you might never meet anyone ever again. It was encouraging to hear that something beautiful could come from such a dark day. Though she no longer feels the way she did when she wrote it, it’s the song everyone wants to hear so she promised to never stop singing it.
I went to a concert to hear one of my favorite singers and left feeling like I’d learned a little something about life. Which just makes me love her a little more.